1 - 2
|Andrew Greig (20)||
Gordon MacNab (50)
Jack Henry (69)
Jevan Anderson for Craig Mckeown (74)
Laim Burnett for Ryan Stott (82)
Conor Gethins for Gary Fraser (82)
Alan Hughes for Craig Gunn (71)
Jack Henry (65)
Andrew Hardwick (73)
Graham Beaton (Referee)
Academy may have travelled to Formartine on Saturday short of a few bodies (injuries and personal commitments) but it was a strong eleven that took to the field at North Lodge Park.
Formartine were on the attack from the first whistle and Andrew Greig proved more than a handful for the Wick defenders in the opening 25 minutes. The visitors had their first test as early as the third minute as Greig drove down the left and cut towards the box - his pace was too much for Andrew Hardwick and his outstretched leg caught the Formartine man rather than the ball. Formartine squandered the free kick though, sending the ball high over the players lined up in the penalty box and out harmlessly out for a goal kick.
Ten minutes in and Sean McCarthy had the first of his many saves of the afternoon - Archie Macphee won the ball on the right wing, drove into the 18 yard box, his right foot shot beat the block by Alan Farquhar but was stopped by McCarthy with a strong dive to his right.
A minute later McCarthy was in action again when Graham Fraser ran on to a pass from Ryan Stott - Fraser's right foot shot from 12 yards out was blocked by the outstretched leg of the Wick keeper.
Wick were not without their own chances and keeper Kevin Main had to come to Formartine's rescue when Richard Macadie broke through the middle and unleashed a left foot shot across goal. Main though, was quickly off his line to block with his chest.
Main was on hand again a few minutes later, when he had to dive at the feet of Alan Farquhar, after a cross from Craig Gunn wasn't cleared by the Formartine defence and the Wick man was running in on the loose ball near the byline.
Formartine took the lead in the 20th minute when an Andrew Greig shot from the 18 yard line rocketed past Sean McCarthy and into the top left hand corner of the net. 2 minutes later Formartine could have doubled their lead but for the outstretched leg of McCarthy - this time stopping a shot from the right by Graeme Rodger.
The Academy defence was standing firm but had a large slice of luck when in the fortieth minute a Formartine shot crashed off the post, ricocheted back towards goal off Jack Halliday and somehow, Sean McCarthy pulled off a wonder save getting his right hand behind the ball just as it was about to cross the line. Half time 1 nil to Formartine.
It took Wick just 3 second half minutes to level the scores - a sweeping move with slick passing between Jack Henry, Richard Macadie and Gordy MacNab - MacNab picked up the ball 25 yards out on the right wing, powered round the outside of Formartine's Stuart Smith and unleashed a low drive that flew between Kevin Main and his near post.
Thirteen minutes into to second half McCarthy pulled off another save of the match - throwing himself low to his left , and at full stretch getting his fingers to the ball, to tip away Ryan Stott's powerful drive.
Academy had a better plan for Andrew Greig in the second half and his influence appeared to be reduced - until the 65th minute when he found space on the edge of the 18 yard box, fired a shot towards goal that evaded the attempts to block by Sam Mackay and Jack Henry - it did not though evade the inspired McCarthy whose left arm came to the rescue again as he flew across the goal.
Formartine were building up a head of steam but were stunned in the 69th minute when a perfectly weighted through ball from Gordon MacNab on the half way line found Jack Henry running in from the right wing - The Wick man outpaced Formatine defenders, Gary Wood and Stuart Smith and from just inside the 18 yard line, calmly slotted the ball past the oncoming Kevin Main.
Formartine were stung into action and it was backs to the wall defending for a while for the visitors but to continuous choruses of "Wick Academy Barmy Army " the Scorries held firm.
Academy's goal was under siege - With two minutes of normal time left Academy players, bench and supporters had their hearts in their mouths when a loose ball fell to substitute Conor Gethins at the left edge of the 6 yard box, his shot beat Sean McCarthy, crashed off the cross bar and fell perfectly to the head of Archie Macphee - Macphee powered his header towards goal only for Danny Mackay to block the ball on the line.
No time to breath and a minute later said hearts were back in said mouths as Graeme Rodger broke in to the 6 yard box and looked to have the goal at his mercy - until a lunging block by Danny Mackay sent the ball flying across goal. Seconds later and the ball was back in the Wick penalty area - again the ball fell invitingly for Graeme Rodger but the Formartine man fumbled his lines and instead of firing the ball goalwards it pinged back across the face of goal to Gary Wood. Wood tried to turn but a line of Wick defenders were in place and Andrew Hardwick got a foot to the ball to clear.
That proved to be Formarine's last rally - Academy finished on the attack - a well worked move down the right between Gordy MacNab and Richard Macadie saw the ball find its way to substitute Alan Hughes but his shot flew over the bar. 2 minutes into added time and Gordy MacNab could have finished the game off in style when he found himself in space at the edge of the box but his shot finished just wide of the far post.
A well earned win for Academy and one which sent the sizeable Scorrie contingent home with plenty to remember.
Match report written by Mel Roger
|Sean McCarthy (GK)||25||6||-||142||-|
|Alan Hughes (sub)||23||5||-||76||4|